How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN College near Sterling Alaska
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Sterling AK that will furnish the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they accomplish in the Sterling AK health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Sterling AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Sterling AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Sterling AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Sterling AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Sterling AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Sterling AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Sterling AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Sterling AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Sterling Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Sterling AK.